Thursday, 2 September 2010

Painting Myself In Orange And Yellow

www.antoniarolls.co.uk for my website
www.jesusonthetube.co.uk for my other website
www.agracefuldeath.blogspot.com for the A Graceful Death exhibition, paintings from the end of life

Painting Myself In Orange And Yellow Like The Sun

This is a self portrait I have been meaning to do for a long while.  It is quite a challenge.  I know what the effect should be, and I know I can do it, but the painting will have a mind of its own.  Anything could happen.  Despite taking huge care to make it look like me, to make it say what I want it to say, I may come out like jaundiced pantomime dame.  And what, say all the jaundiced pantomime dames, is wrong with that?  Nothing, I say with a serious and deeply understanding look.  Except that I am something else.  Except, that the self portrait is about something else entirely.  This self portrait signifies the end of the Steve story in the A Graceful Death exhibition.  It will say Look!  I have survived this experience, this loss, this pain.  And Look!  I am surrounded by Orange and Yellow and Life and Light.  I want to paint into the painting the fact that I came through, and that it is possible.  I won't ever forget Steve, but I hold him very tenderly in my memory now, and can live with joy alongside him.  So I am painting myself in Orange and Yellow, like the sun.

I also have the A Graceful Death exhibition to prepare for Dublin.  It goes there for a private show by request, in October.  The self portrait will be finished for that, along with the wonderful old man I have been asked to paint by his Granddaughter, who misses him, so that is exciting.  They will have their first showing together to a new audience. Good.

I won't go into too much detail about my day to day life in the home at the moment .  There is so much happening here, that detail would mean my head would explode.  And you, bless you, you might die of boredom.  Here is a flighty romp through what is happening then.  To be brief -

  • People are moving out of One Part of the house and into Another Part of the house.
  • Someone else is moving into the Vacated First Part.
  • The Muppet is moving back to London
  • 13 Year Old Son is bouncing on the trampoline with his crutches and broken foot.  I hear "Boing. Ouch.  Boing.  Ouch."
  • I am having a Ceilidh to celebrate my 50 birthday next Saturday
  • The ceilidh has to be arranged
  • By whom does the Ceilidh have to be arranged?
  • Oh Lord, I have to do it.
  • A Graceful Death has to be transported to Dublin with all the new customised literature.  Each showing has to have literature that supports that particular venue.
  • Have to paint a)  Self Portrait  b)  Dog  c)  African Ladies on Beach  d)  Rock Chick Angel Of The North (Rev Rachel Mann who has just caused a storm by an article she wrote saying Christianity could learn much from Heavy Metal.  We love this lady.  We think she should be Pope)  e)  An Angel As A Clown
  • 13 Year Old Son starts a whole new school on Monday.  
  • Uniform.
  • He is now just under 8' tall.  
  • I am going to Manchester and Birmingham the week after next to arrange two new showings of A Graceful Death next year.
  • Soon it will be Christmas.
So there you have it.  I could write an essay on any one of those items.  But instead, I am sitting in my new room in my chair, loving the peace and quiet.  A New Room, you shriek?  But How?

I bought another single bed to go into the downstairs room to join the other single bed and make it a double room.  For the new couple moving in today, as it happens.  I thought this was an excellent idea, and it showed real initiative and I was understandably extremely proud of myself.  But the bed was then 6' wide and there was no floor space to speak of.  One could just scuttle sideways around the bed and either scuttle back to the door to get out, or go through the window.  What to do?  I couldn't take the bed back as it had been a one off bargain.   The answer was to take the 4'6" bed out of my room, and put it downstairs, and move the two singles upstairs to my room.  So when Alan came round for a wee visit yesterday, I gave him a wee job to do.  "Alan," I said sweetly but firmly, like an Artist that is On The Case," would you just move these 3 beds all round the house and make them fit and measure it all up and make it all right, would you?  Eh?"   So being a Let's Get On With It Oh For Goodness Sake kind of fellow, he not only helped move the beds up the stairs, down the stairs, over the bannisters, through teeny doors and along wooden floors, he organised the furniture in the rooms too so that it looked as normal as it was going to look.  And because I now had 6' of bed in my room, the wardrobe doors could not open, and there was no chance of actually standing on the floor on two feet.  Ooops.  Alan moved the furniture round, measured everything up, and finally fitted it all in so that most of the cupboard doors open most of the time.   I have made this room so nice now, and it is the only place I want to sit in.  There is, of course, an enormous bed, which looks very inviting, and I can't wait for bed time, but there is a nice red chair and a lamp beside it, and books on the arms of the chair (wouldn't fit on the floor) so I just have to sit here.  For hours.

The other fabby thing is that the Cosmic Gardener has chopped down the tree like thing that was outside my studio window and now - now I can see.  It is marvellous how much light I have in my studio suddenly.  Just right, I may say, for a self portrait to be painted.

So.  My dear Cousin's Cousin was staying over the last few weeks, and has now gone home to Detroit.  And lo, another lovely American Gal is coming to stay, in a few weeks.  I don't know where she will sleep;  the paradox is that there are more beds in this house than ever before, but no one can sleep on them (unless they come in with me and Alan, or with the nice new couple downstairs, or with the new Man in the teeny room, or with the Muppet or the 13 Year Old Son...).  Time for a bath now.  That's it.  The next American Guest can sleep in the Bath.  Sorted.

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